King of Spain Awards highlight role of journalism as public asset
Madrid, Jun 2 (EFE).- The 2022 King of Spain International Journalism Awards on Thursday highlighted the role of journalism as a public asset – as represented by the six winners coming from Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela – and acknowledged the efforts by the journalists and their media outlets to create analytical and thorough reporting within a context of disinformation and ongoing threats to freedom of expression.
In the presence of a number of top Spanish government officials, King Felipe VI presented the awards on Thursday at a ceremony at the Casa de America in Madrid, an institution that will celebrate its 30th anniversary on July 25 and which over the past three decades has become “an open space for cultural, social, political and economic exchange in Ibero-America,” the monarch said.
The award ceremony was held in person, now that restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years have been lifted.
The award winners “deserve our admiration and recognition because their stories make people and societies grow and because for that they have done in-depth work,” said Felipe in his speech, emphasizing the months of “tireless, discrete work with the masterful management of sources and data” performed by the winners, “who have created stories of uncomfortable, raw and true realities that help us learn about other lives and understand and value what we have.”
For this 39th edition of the awards, the most important in their field in Ibero-America, 240 nominees from 17 countries competed in the six categories: Narrative Journalism, Photography, International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Environmental Journalism, Cultural Journalism and Communications Media in Ibero-America.
Colombia’s Juan Roberto Vargas, the editor of Noticias Caracol, and lead reporter Ricardo Calderon received the award for Narrative Journalism for their report on the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in 2021.
Cesar Luis Melgarejo Aponte, also from Colombia, won the Photography award for his image “Resistir,” published in the daily El Tiempo and taken during the country’s national strike on May 22, 2021.
InfoAmazonia editorial director Juliana Mori received the prize for Environmental Journalism for reporting on the health effects of breathing the smoke from Brazilian forest fires.
Spanish journalist based in Mexico Sergio Rodriguez Blanco received the Cultural Journalism award for his profile of Cristina Rivera Garza in Mexico’s Gatopardo magazine on March 23, 2021.
King Felipe presented Venezuelans Salvador Benasayag and Valentina Oropeza with the award for International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action for their 20-member team project on the collapse of their homeland’s social security system published on the Prodavinci Web site on Feb. 23, 2021.
Spaniards David Cabo, the founder and director of Civio, and Eva Belmonte, who headed the project, won the Communications Media in Ibero-America award.
Agencia EFE president Gabriela Cañas said at the award ceremony that “All (the award winners) have stood out in an uncertain panorama for freedom of expression; a panorama that is of special concern in Latin America.”
The six winning groups will each receive 10,000 euros ($10,750), a stipend that puts the awards on the level of the Pulitzer Prizes, and a sculpture by artist Joaquin Vaquero Turcios.
The awards have been presented annually since 1983 by Spain’s Agency for International Cooperation and Development (Aecid) and Agencia EFE, the country’s international news agency, to recognize outstanding journalism in the Spanish and Portuguese languages.